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Teach Your Child How to Interact with Others

One of the first things children learn and are taught is how to communicate or interact with those around them. In fact, by the time an infant is three months old the baby begins to interact with their parents through facial expressions and cooing sounds. As we continue to interact with our baby we are bridging the gap of proper communication.

Yet, once children reach the age of toddlers, the way they interact with others can be a problem if not properly identified and explained in full detail the correct way to interact with peers, teachers, and other individuals the child will associate with. Here are just a few ways to teach your youngsters how to interact with others.

Preschool
Setting a good example is one of the easiest ways and most effective means of teaching a child a number of developmental skills, and interacting with others is no exception. Every opportunity you have when your child is around, allow your child to be involved in your interactions with others, that is age appropriate conversations.

That is not to say that you should allow your child to step into all one-on-one social interactions you may have with your spouse or friends, but when the conversation is common and about things your preschooler would understand and can comment about allow them to be involved and be enthusiastic about their comments. When children feel their opinions are being sought, or others see them as important, they become more willing to communicate.

Main points to address:

  • Read a number of books on a weekly basis that offer consistent and positive interactions between characters.
  • Be enthusiastic about their responses when they are in a conversation with you.
  • Allow them to be involved in simple “adult conversations. E/li>
  • Keep eye contact with your child when engaged in a conversation.

Grades K-3rd
Throughout these stages children are beginning to interact with others on a more regular basis, with kindergarteners it will be their first year of interacting with a class of their peers and teachers. These are the best times to begin to develop positive interaction and communication skills.

While communicating with your youngest, which should be done on a daily basis, make eye contact with your child and confirm their responses to you in a more elaborate manner, such as “You are more fond of the vanilla ice cream as opposed to the chocolate? EThis will enable them to develop are larger vocabulary as they are learning to communicate properly. Allow them to feel important by inviting them to adult conversations, age permitting conversations, with your spouse or other family members.

Main points to address:

  • Confirm their response to you in a more elaborate manner, “So you believe that turtles truly like to consume worms for their dinner? E
  • Encourage acceptance of other languages and forms of communication, such as sign language and body language.
  • Keep eye contact with your child when engaged in a conversation.
  • Allow them to be involved in simple “adult conversations. E/li>
  • Always be aware of their feelings and be sure you show how interested you are in their thoughts and opinions.

Grades 4th-6th
These are the years when open communication is essential between children and their parents. The more you openly communicate with your elementary school children the more they learn the proper way to communicate with others. There are certain times of the day and certain places kids feel more comfortable communicating with their families, that could be at the dinner table, in the evening, or while driving in the car. Allow communication to flow more freely during these times.

Be attentive to your child’s thoughts and opinions and never interrupt while they are speaking. When responding to something they have said that was not something you support, be conscious of your child’s feelings. Show them that you are interested in them, keeping focused on them and their conversation with body language, a nod of the head, a smile, etc.

Ask questions that will enable your child to give a detailed response, not just a yes or no answer. These will all encourage your child to develop positive social and communication skills.

Main points to address:

  • When in a conversation try to avoid asking them questions that can only generate a yes or no response, give them the ability to elaborate on your questions.
  • Encourage acceptance of other languages and forms of communication, such as sign language and body language.
  • Examine which times or places that your child opens up in a conversation most often and seem to be best for.
  • Ask them their opinion about simple life choices, for example while you are picking out clothes to wear, ask them “Which color shirt do you think looks better on me, red or blue? E
  • Always be aware of their feelings and be sure you show how interested you are in their thoughts and opinions.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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